It sucks to admit it, but I have landed in a dry spell. Inspiration is nowhere to be found, and while I know I should be writing, I can’t seem to gather the impetus to actually start. This got me thinking of ways I (and anyone else who ends up in this horrible quagmire of frustration and lethargy) can work through, around, or over it.
- Set time aside to write, even if you don’t feel like it or don’t know what to write.
This one is my go-to. I set my alarm for 5am and write for two hours before I start my day job, and while it can be a tough slog, there is something to be said for cultivating a habit, and I really need to get back into this habit.
2. Go for a long walk.
Getting away from distractions and focusing on your next story while breathing in the fresh winter air might just do the trick. I came up with a story a couple years ago doing this, walking through the forested paths in the Cochrane Ranche. It was quiet, isolated, beautiful, and I didn’t have my phone (and a million apps from Imgur to Instagram) to distract me from my thoughts.
3. Read your favorite book.
Read the book (or books) that first inspired you to write. Figure out why, and if that spark is still there. Can you coax the embers into a gentle flame?
4. Create a music playlist.
I would actually do this in conjunction with the long walk. Be it uplifting pop, classic rock, or soothing classical, listen to music that gets your brain buzzing. I like to use soundtrack music while I visualize various scenes playing out in my head like a private movie screening.
5. Figure out what matters to you.
Okay, so maybe it’s not writing at the moment. Maybe it’s family relationships, or a new love interest? Maybe it’s getting over a broken heart, getting into college, advancing your career or something as simple as eating really good food (I’m not here to judge!). Whatever it is you’re passionate about right now, figure out a way to write about it. ‘Borrow’ passion from one area of your life and direct it towards your writing.
My plan is to do all of these in an effort to jump-start my creative juices. I’ll let you know how it goes, and hopefully this time next month, I will be in the thick of my next project. Fingers crossed!